• Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

Ministry of Marine And Blue Economy Proposes N10.9bn 2024 Budget Emphasizing Port Modernization, Rehabilitation

The Honourable Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, H.E. Adegboyega Oyetola, unveiled a comprehensive N10.9 billion budget for the year 2024 during a presentation to the joint House Committees of the Senate on Marine Transport and the House of Representatives Committees on Ports and Harbour, Maritime Safety, Education, and Administration, Inland Waterways, and Shipping Services.

Highlighting the essence of the proposed budget, Minister Adegboyega Oyetola emphasized its critical role in enabling the newly established Ministry to oversee and monitor the effective implementation of governmental policies within the marine and blue economy domain.

“In line with our commitment to economic growth, the 2024 budget for the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy aims to build upon past achievements and performance,” outlined Minister Oyetola.

Central to this budget is the prioritization of ports’ infrastructural development, particularly the modernization of deteriorating ports such as Apapa and Tin Can, alongside plans to rehabilitate Eastern ports and undertake dredging activities in both inland and coastal waterways.

To facilitate these ambitious initiatives, Minister Oyetola urged the Committees to allocate necessary funds as proposed in the budgets of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and the National Inland Waterways Authority.

Highlighting the significance of port rehabilitation, the Minister stressed the Federal Government’s obligation as landlords to maintain and ensure optimal conditions at the ports, even while under concession.

The Minister further outlined key areas of focus, including maritime administration, capacity building, and effective technical and economic regulation, all of which are pivotal in fortifying Nigeria’s Blue Economy.

Accompanying the Ministry’s budget were allocations for Agencies supervised by the Ministry, namely the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, and Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).

Senator Wasiu Sanni, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport, affirmed the Committees’ commitment to supporting the maritime sector. He assured the Minister of their dedication to providing the necessary support to enhance the sector’s performance, contributing significantly to the nation’s revenue and overall GDP.

Committee members echoed expectations for the new Ministry, emphasizing priorities such as increased ship traffic at ports, streamlined port clearance processes including cargo scanners, and support for initiatives like coastal guards and the release of cabotage funds to aid indigenous shipping lines.

The gathering, an amalgamation of insights and commitments, signifies a pivotal step in Nigeria’s pursuit of a thriving marine and blue economy.

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor is a seasoned journalist and the CEO/Founder Belch Digital Communications, publishers of Hybrid News Nigeria.

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